Two-thirds of baby and toddler foods sold in major Australian supermarkets fail to meet international nutrition standards, sparking calls for tighter regulations.
Cancer Council Victoria tested 250 packaged foods marketed for infants against World Health Organisation recommendations.
Foods for toddlers rated the worst, with nine in 10 failing the recommendations.
They were found to contain added sugar or sweeteners and excess sodium.
Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin said urgent action was needed in light of the "extremely concerning" findings.
"For years, the processed food industry has prioritised their profits over our kids' health," Ms Martin said.
"Australian families rightly expect foods marketed to vulnerable babies and toddlers to be healthy.
"Instead, the processed food industry pushes these baby and toddler products with names and claims that suggest they are healthier than they in fact are."
The foods tested in the study were sold at Aldi, Woolworths and Coles and marketed for children aged up to three-years old.
The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation has called for transparency in the industry.
"It's irresponsible and deceptive for the processed food industry to load up these products with added sugar and then market them specially for toddlers," VicHealth chief executive Dr Sandro Demaio said.
"This dangerous ploy is a bid to boost profits and can lead to problems later in life, including weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
"Clear, transparent labelling is needed to help families better understand these products moving forward."
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand is assessing a proposal to include labelling on added sugar in the nutrition information panel on packaged foods.
A FSANZ spokesperson told ACM the proposal would "enable consumers to make informed food choices in line with dietary guidelines".
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However, the spokesperson said the complexity of the proposal had caused delays, including determining the definition of added sugar.
Ms Martin said this definition should include processed fruit sugars like fruit pastes, juices and concentrates, which are often added to foods for children.
The World Health Organisation Europe recommends baby and toddler foods contain no added sugar or other sweetening agents.
It says the foods should have only limited amounts of dried or pureed fruit and less than 50ml of sodium per 100g.
Most parents believed there should be laws to limit salt and sugar in baby and toddler foods, Ms Martin said.
Limits on sodium exist for baby foods, but there are no regulations on products for toddlers.
"The success of setting limits on sodium in baby foods should be extended to toddler foods on supermarket shelves and limits must be set for sugars in foods for all children under three," Ms Martin said.
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